Columbia College Chicago Presents 18th Annual Story Week Festival of Writers

Featured authors include Cristina Garcia, Barry Gifford;
Guild Literary Complex hosts events spotlighting Latino authors

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CHICAGO (Feb. 17, 2014) – Columbia College Chicago’s 18th annual Story Week Festival of Writers, returns Mar. 16-21 with a focus on DiverCity: Urban Stories. In Story Week tradition, the festival brings established and emerging authors together to share their works in a variety of venues – including Revolution Brewery, Martyrs’, Humboldt Park Fieldhouse, Harold Washington Library, Metro Chicago and the Chicago Cultural Center in addition to Columbia College.

“A city is its people and the stories, real and imagined, through which they tell their lives, their histories, their cultures and their place in the world,” said Randy Albers, founder of Story Week and chair emeritus of the fiction program at Columbia College. “This year’s festival brings together shared stories that shape our understanding of the city and the wider social and historical context of which we are a part.”

With nearly a dozen new books in the works – some of which will be published in the spring and summer – this year’s festival gives a sneak peek at some of 2014’s soon-to-be talked about authors. The Guild Complex also joins Story Week this year to host events spotlighting Latino authors.

Highlights of the week-long festival include:

Featured reading and book signing with Cristina Garcia author of six novels, including King of Cuba (Scribner’s, 2013), Garcia was the former Miami bureau chief for Time Magazine before becoming a novelist. She is the winner of the Janet Heidiger Kafka Prize and her novel Dreaming in Cuban (Knopf, 1992) was a National Book Award finalist. Harold Washington Library, Mar. 18, 6 p.m.

Conversation with screenwriter and novelist Barry Gifford lauded as a “master,” an “American original” and renowned for shaping the American neo-noir genre, Gifford is both screenwriter (Lost Highway and Wild at Heart with David Lynch) and prominent, award-winning author of fiction, nonfiction and poetry whose works have been published in 28 languages. His most recent collection, The Roy Stories, was published by Seven Stories Press, October 2013.

“Translation Matters” and “Noche de novelas/Night of Novels” hosted by the Guild Complex – features seven Latino authors, including Cristina Garcia and Valeria Luiselli. Luiselli, born in Mexico City and raised in South Africa, will share stories from her first U.S. published work, Faces in the Crowd and Sidewalks (forthcoming: Coffee House Press, May 2014).

Literary Rock & Roll – features Eric May (Bedrock Faith, Akashic Books, March 2014), Preston Allen (Every Boy Should Have a Man, Akashic Books, 2013) and Christine Sneed (Little Known Facts, 2013). The Street Sounds Band will also honor the work of David Hernandez (1946-2013), former bandleader and Chicago poet with readings by Achy Obejas, Edwardo Arocho, Marta Collazo and Carlos Cumpián.

Conversation: “Why the Short Story?” – features Christine Sneed (Little Known Facts, Bloomsbury USA, 2013) Stuart Dybek (Ecstatic Cahoots and Paper Lantern, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, June 2014), Roxane Gay (An Untamed State, Grove Press, May 2014) and Katey Schultz (Flashes of War, Apprentice House, 2013). Harold Washington Library, Mar. 17, 2 p.m.

Chicago Classics with Rick Kogan – Legendary Chicago Tribune journalist and WGN-AM radio host Rick Kogan gathers special guests to read from works by their favorite Chicago authors.

This year also features a number of opportunities for aspiring writers to learn more about the publishing industry with bootcamps, readings and open mics. Please visit for a full listing of programs.

Columbia College Chicago is an urban institution that offers innovative degree programs in the visual, performing, media and communication arts for more than 10,000 students in 120 undergraduate and graduate programs. An arts and media college committed to a rigorous liberal arts curriculum, Columbia is dedicated to opportunity and excellence in higher education. For further information, visit


Media contacts:
Cara Birch,, 312.369.8695
Steve Kauffman,, 312.369.7383